Plant these beauties in spring to brighten a summer garden.
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Look for bulbs that are firm and blemish-free.
Bulbs are graded according to diameter (centimeters), and are priced accordingly. Be cautious of bargains if you need a good show the first year. It's possible that a bag bargain "bag of bulbs" contains individual bulbs that are uniform in size or quality, or not in the best of health.
Reputable mail-order is a viable source for bulbs, but buying from a local nursery that sells them in bulk allows you to pick out the biggest, firmest bulbs, free of soft spots or white mold (fusarium fungus).
The presence of bluish gray mold (Penicillium) or blackish mold is typically nothing to worry about and can be wiped off.
For high-profile bed plantings, you may find that it's worth the higher price for the more mature, showier bulbs.
Younger (smaller caliber) bulbs, which are often sold at lower prices, can offer a great way of adding color to large areas or marginal areas of the yard where they can be left in place to naturalize and mature, gaining in size over time.
Bulbs generally have few insect or disease problems.